Categories
advent Christian Blog

When Light Surprises

Most of last week, leading up to the first Sunday of Advent, the weather here was overcast and gloomy. This is unusual for our part of the country, which gets around 250 sunny days per year.

Delightedly, the Sabbath dawned bright and clear. It was an ideal beginning to the first Sunday of Advent.

Speaking with a friend at church, I confided in him that the cloudy conditions were starting to get to me–before the sun broke through.

He told me a captivating story about a semester he spent at the University of Washington in Seattle. My friend was there for the fall semester and only saw the sun twice!

One such occurrence happened during calculus class, when full sunlight suddenly poured through a wall of windows. The buttoned-down professor stopped teaching, and everyone in the room went to investigate.

The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light. They lived in a land of shadows, but now light is shining on them.

Isaiah 9:2 (GNT)

Kind reader, Jesus Christ is the embodiment of God’s light in human form–like the sun bursting through the clouds on a dreary morning. Quick, everyone to a window!

Photo by Tiana on Pexels.com

Even in darkness light shines on honest people. It shines on those who are kind and tender and godly.

Psalm 112:4 (NIRV)

Thank you for reading. 🙏❤️ prayers and love.


This first appeared as a guest post on The Devotional Guy on December 2, 2022.

First photo by cottonbro studio on Pexels.com

Categories
Christian Blog resilience

Dog Gone It!

We have a dog in our neighborhood that’s a fence jumper. Every so often, even with the gate shut, he magically appears in the backyard. He’s friendly enough, but we worry what might happen if he gets in when our little dog is out.

We thought we had the problem solved. Our super-athletic trespasser liked to jump the one section of our fence that was four feet tall, so we replaced it with a six foot wooden privacy fence. We now have a tall fence around our whole backyard. “That should do it,” I told my wife.

But wouldn’t you know, one day we looked out and there he was– standing on the back patio laughing at himself in the window. What kind of dog gets over a six foot privacy fence?!

This has to be yet another metaphor for life. We build fences around our circumstances to control them. And then, when something breaches our puny perimeter, we build better ones.

Yet sometimes, no matter how hard we try, IT still happens. They make LifeProof cases for phones, but not for the human condition. And when something jumps the ‘fence’ and comes to the window, it’s easy to feel violated, unsafe and unsure about the future.

Enter God, the creator and sustainer of the universe, who most certainly understands humans. 

He became one.

And, as it turns out, He’s a fence builder too.

You hem me in–behind and before; you have laid your hand upon me.

Psalm 139:5 (NIV)

King David doesn’t mention sideways, but surely the Almighty has that covered as well.😀🙏

So friend, can we agree that whatever we’re facing right now—be it good, bad or ugly—God saw it coming and knows what to do about it?

His Word is His bond.

Kind reader, thank you for enduring my daily posts for one week. After today, I will be back to my normal schedule.

🙏❤️ prayers and love.


Photo by Dallas Reedy on Unsplash


This post first appeared on my blog in September of 2020.

Categories
Christian Blog spiritual warfare

Just Beyond the Gate

I heard them the moment I opened the back door at 3 am. Our geriatric schnauzer scurried to his favorite spot for a potty break, but I hesitated.

It was a whole pack of coyotes, yipping and howling, seemingly just on the other side of our six foot privacy fence. Using an exposed board as a step, I peeked over–into the pre dawn mist. Nothing.

Cooper, our little dog, paid his wild cousins no mind. Yet their eerie cries were unsettling. The only thing between us and them was a few hundred yards of open ground and a wooden fence. “Hurry up, buddy!”

Safely back inside, I remembered this cool product I found online called the Coyote Roller.

It’s a long piece of pipe that rolls under the paws of athletic interlopers. Thus, any frisky varmints who try to clear the fence are quickly returned to the ground.

Back in a warm bed, listening to a now snoring schnauzer, I pondered: “Is there a spiritual equivalent to the Coyote Roller?”

I found one a few hours later, over breakfast, sans coyotes. Revelation chapter 12 tells about a war in heaven. Michael and his angels fight against the dragon, satan and his angels, and prevail. Consequently, the devil and his buddies have to relocate. A voice comes over the loud speaker: “The accuser of our brothers has been hurled down.” Verse 11 reveals the power behind it:

They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.

Revelation 12:11 (NIV)

Kind reader, the blood of Christ, the truths he taught, and our own resolve to hold onto faith, are more than enough to keep any “coyotes” out of the back yard. As a former pastor of mine liked to say, “If you’re willing to stand forever, you won’t have to stand for long.”

Thank you for reading. 🙏❤️


The first photo is by my friend, Gary Fultz. Check out his excellent nature shots here.